I’m trying to take cover behind a wrecked Corvette. Yeah, I’m the one that wrecked it. But that’s not really important right now. What is important is the heat from the explosions that are rocking my world right now.

I sneak a peek over the hood of the car and see little more than balls of orange flame and black smoke rising high into the air. I duck back down and take a deep breath. I reach into my pocket and pull out a picture. The girl in the picture? She is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful women on the planet. But I’m not doing any of this for her.

I’m not a hero. I’m not doing any of this for the love of the woman in the picture. It isn’t for glory or honor or duty to my country. I’m doing it for money.

Try not to judge me too harshly, okay? Everyone has their motivations. Mine just happens to be dollar signs. And let me tell you, the paycheck I get at the end of this gig is well worth the heat and frustration that I’m feeling at the moment. And the girl? You could say she’s just a bonus.

Get your head out of the gutter. It’s not like that.

It’s time for me to make my move. Another deep breath and then I’m on my feet. I jump across the hood of the car. I don’t see how it’s any quicker than running around the car, but it looks cool. Not that anyone is really paying attention to what I’m doing right now. Things are exploding. Fireballs tend to be eye catchers.

I’m running about as hard as I’ve ever run. Another explosion goes off somewhere to my right. That’s when I feel the sharp pain in my thigh. I stumble a bit and look at my leg. From what I can tell, I’ve been hit by some shrapnel. This wasn’t part of the plan.

I was just supposed to move from one point to another. Sure, it’s across something of a minefield, but it was supposed to be that simple. Now I have this thing sticking out of my leg. I’m not bleeding much, so I keep moving.

With each step, I wince. I’m trying to hold back. I don’t want the pain to show in my face, but it’s realistic, right? You have a sharp piece of metal sticking in your leg, you’re gonna feel it. Especially if you try to keep moving.

Suddenly the explosions seemingly stop. Things calm down all around me. I collapse to the ground, breathing heavily. And then I hear it.

“Cut!” yells the director.

I’m quickly surrounded by a couple producers, the stunt coordinator, and the medic that’s always on set for these big action sequences. My agent told me I should try to avoid doing my own stunts, but I always think it’s fun. Besides, why pay someone whose face you can’t even show on camera when I can do most of the physical stuff myself anyway?

The EMT is examining the injury to my leg. I really don’t want to pay attention to what she’s doing. I can hear the producers asking if I’m okay and they yell back at the director that my leg is in bad shape. At least, I think that’s what they’re saying. I’m in a lot of pain and everything is kind of a blur right now.

I hear someone suggest that I take a ride in an ambulance. “Is this really necessary?” I ask.

“We need to get that metal out of your leg,” says the lady wearing the latex gloves. “You’ll definitely need stitches. When was the last time you had a tetanus shot?”

“I don’t know, a few years ago?” I’m really not sure. Now come the profuse apologies from the stunt guy. He tells me he’s gonna have a talk with the guys with the explosives so they can get to the bottom of what happened. They seem to be worried that I could have been killed.

The woman from the picture stands off to the side. She hasn’t taken her eyes off me since the director stopped the shoot. She hasn’t taken her hand away from her mouth since the shrapnel hit me. She’s my co-star, Maria, and she looks genuinely concerned. That, or she’s a much better actress than she lets on when she’s on camera.

“Adam,” says one of the producers as he puts his hand on my shoulder, “we’re gonna get you taken care of, okay?”

I just nod. I kind of just want this to be over with so I can get back here in time for the director to shout action again.

Feature Photo by Luke Jernejcic on Unsplash

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